[Pics] ISO Performance Of Cameras At The 2001 Super Bowl Vs Today

In 2001 Super Bowl XXXV's halftime show was performed by Aerosmith, 'N Sync, Britney Spears and Nelly. The show was probably shot with the ultra powerful (for its time) Nikon D1H which had a 2.7mp sensor and was said to create "very usable images at ISO 800." Yesterday we had Madonna and LMFAO perform and their show was photographed with the Nikon D3s (which is now also out of dates) which has 12mp and shoots similar quality images at ISO 12,800. Isn't it interesting that what was considered "professional" 11 years ago can now be outdone by consumer level DSLRs.

If you guys can find examples of 100% crop images from the Super Bowl then and now I will post them.




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27 Comments

A world apart!

Impressive isn't it? So imagine what it will be in 10 years???

Like in the daily prophet i would imagine :)

Jens Marklund's picture

I somehow think that limits brings out great photographers. You need some working around things to learn new technics and skills. 

They say that a better camera doesn't make you a better photographer. But imagine when the technical side of it is gone, then it probably will make you a better photographer. Just set it into "moving stuff" mode, and it'll set iso 100.000 and you're ready to shoot a night time game, or performance with sharp result (oh, and this new AF will always be spot on). You can probably ask someone else to crop them later, so they're nicely frame as well.

I don't know if I'm just behind or something, but I rarely ever crop my photos. And the times I do, it's usually for another format. Neither do I clone or whatever.

Patrick Hall's picture

Man that was back before Steven Tyler looked Keith Richards old and Brittney was super hot!  10 Years doesn't fair well for many

lightroom works wonders eh

I don't know what Steven Tyler looks like now but there's no conceivable way it's creepier than that.

Now if only the actual Performances would improve....

next generation camera will be mirror less, very capable of high ISO  with electronic shutter built in to the sensor. imagine a shutter that will just cut the sensor from receiving light.

Jens Marklund's picture

D50/D70? I can get a 1/4000 sync speed with my old D50. Heard it has electronic shutter above a certain shutter speed.

Modern mirrorless cameras are already capable of high ISO. The Fuji X100 competes with the Nikon D7000's performance at ISO 6400.

SONY A-nex-7 @ ISO 16000

who let JT dress like that?

although 2001 superbowl was 100% better and the best one by far...the photo from last night was far superior.  Too bad the couldn't be switched!!

I have to say I was disappointed by this year half-time performance. It was all about Madonna and everyone else were just her backup singers for her OLD songs. WTF. I'm glad I didn't go for the show. The game was good at the end. 

When it comes to what is acceptable then and now, we can all agree that it just matters now that you have any camera to get the right shot. The focus should always be more on the skill of the shooter and experience that shooter has with the gear they are using. Also, I'm not sure we can quite compare apples to apples here. Wasn't the lighting a bit brighter back then to get the nicely lit shots, the older image looked like it could have been shot at a lower ISO if they wanted or a faster shutter to freeze the shot a bit better. I assume they set the ISO, set it to AV and went shooting and hoped for the best with whatever the camera used for shutter. 

I agree, in 10 years, you are going to see such advances that some kid's toy camera 100yards away will get a great shot from their $80 point and shoot that is comparable to the Nikon D3s used. I have no doubt about it. I'm sure by then IS will be twice as good and ISO not an issue. Maybe even focus won't be an issue with some of the other technologies coming to market from cameras to Photoshop advances. 

Javi's picture

dont forget better lighting too vs 2001

That also has to do with photo editing software today compared to 2001. 

Looks like the artists in the top photo are in ambient light only. (compare the lighting on the artists to the ambient light behind them) If they had a strong light falling onto them like below, the noise might have been noticeably lower. 

Patrick Hall's picture

I'm pretty sure they are both professionally lit. In 2001 the crowd has more light on them

Why is Madonna sitting on that bald man?

Well played sir.  Few will recognize the brilliance of this comment.  

Ha ha ha ha...

 You sir, are a genius...

RUSS's picture

I'm amazed people still watch the super bowl halftime shows. They seem to suck worse and worse every year. I havent watched one since 2002 super bowl. And from what I hear each year, I am glad I missed it.

The links are broken... buzz me when its fixed. 
please & thanks

Links see to be broken...

Lol @2.7MP back then. That is unacceptable even on a mobile phone today.